Need Help Finding the Best Tour

Travel Forums Europe Need Help Finding the Best Tour

1. Posted by Alsanea21 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone! I was planning to go on a small European tour with my best friend from June 4 to June 17 starting with Paris and ending in Munich (passing through a few other cities in Switzerland and Austria). We bought the airline tickets and booked all the hotels through booking.com. Unfortunately, my friend can't go with me anymore for reasons beyond his control. I was very sad about this of course since this was our first trip ever to Europe and we really needed this vacation to blow off some steam from work (my last vacation was 7 years ago).

In any case, since I don't feel confident about doing this trip alone now, I decided to look for a tour that will handle all the logistics and whatnot. Therefore, I really need your help finding the best tour that suits my needs. Here are some info that might help with that:

-The tour has to start from Paris, France (my point of entry).
-Total budget is around USD 3,000 (I can spend a little bit more if it's needed or worth it).
-Trip duration is 2 weeks max.
-The tour has to be this year during June and preferably in the first half of it.
-Preferably I want to visit countries like Switzerland, Austria and Germany
-The tour guide must communicate mainly in English.
-Excluding airplane tickets, the tour must include transportation, accommodation and all other matters relative to that.
-The company organizing the tour must have a trustworthy and excellent reputation (must also accept international credit cards).

I would very much appreciate any help in this matter guys and I'm sorry for this long post.

2. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 174 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

I hope your hotel bookings are refundable, otherwise this will be a very expensive change of plans. Oouch... Is there no one else from your friends to take the place as you would need to pay for the name change only for the airline tickets?

If you are looking for companies who do offer an organised tours (ground transportation-airfare excluded) couple springs to my mind:

  • Explore
  • Exodus

I'm sure there are many more...

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

We've never done a tour and quite frankly, if I were in your shoes, I'd go ahead and do it by myself. You may have a little more hassle but if you keep your luggage light, you would probably have more fun. Singles travelers meet a lot of people as they travel. In a tour group you are with the same people the entire time and I guess that's okay if you like them . . . but what if you don't?

We have had friends who took tours and one couple used Viking River Tours. I checked their web site and they have two tours around your budget, one slightly more and one slightly less. Our friends enjoyed the Rhone River Cruise so much they did the Rhine River Cruise the following year and also loved it.

Another couple we know took a Rick Steve's tour. I looked at the itinerary for them (it was in France) and it looked like a well chosen itinerary so they booked it. When they got back, they said they loved it. The 14-day tour is over your budget but it takes care of everything so you might consider that.

I would suggest you try to get a small-group tour because mobs of people parading around together doesn't sound like much fun and someone is always going to be late. Smaller groups would be easier logistically and probably more friendly.

Look up Rick Steve's Tours and Viking River Cruises online and see if any of their tours appeal to you.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a good trip. Honestly, traveling alone can be great fun. You get to do only the things you want to do . . .

4. Posted by dianesealsmaui (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Sorry this happened, what a disappointment for you but make the most of it! I would suggest you look at getting a Eurorail pass and mapping out your trip based on the train routes. Once you get your itinerary planned out, you can book tours in each city through Viator or a similar company. On the other hand, call a travel agent, they can book your train tickets for you as well as tours and they might have a few suggestions on an itinerary based on your flights...it want cost you anything to talk to one. Good luck and have a great time!

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 951 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Viking or any river cruise is going to bill for double occupancy. If you go as a single, you pay extra unless you find someone to share

6. Posted by Alsanea21 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Thank you everyone for these great suggestions. All of the hotels should be refundable so that's some good news at least. After reading everything here, I think I'll try my hand at solo traveling and hope for the best!!

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Here is a web site that will tell you everything you will ever need to know about trains in Europe. It also has links to all the train web sites. I love this web site. Click here for The Man in Seat 61 web site

I'm pretty sure the link to the old CapitaineTrain (now Trainline) is on The Man in Seat 61, but in case it isn't, here is that web site. It is in English, they do not charge anything and they have all the trains. It covers all of Europe . . . and possibly more but I've never checked anyplace else. Click here for the Trainline web site

Have a great time.

8. Posted by 55vineyard (Budding Member 26 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

Good decision, think you will enjoy it a lot.
Beausoleil is so correct about the tours, went on one in Europe many years ago with my first husband and there was one couple who were late returning to the bus EVERY single time by at least 45-60 minutes since they were shopping. I was a lot younger then and did not do anything other than shoot them a dirty look. We missed seeing Heidelberg castle because of these clowns.